Archive | April, 2014

HAPS Leadership (#25): 2014 Annual Conference preparations

30 Apr

HAPS 2014 is in 24 days! The Annual Conference for the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society starts in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday, May 24th. If you haven’t yet, start making plans. It’s a great week, full of incredible events and people. Let’s listen in on two new HAPS members planning for their first conference.

140430 (1) MinionP. Langerhans: Frank, I’m excited to attend my first HAPS conference this next month. I’ve lurked on the list-serv for a few years and read the HAPS-EDucator, but otherwise I haven’t been too involved. However, I’ve always wanted to visit Florida, so I decided to sign up for the Jacksonville conference. I’ve never been to the area, so tell me what it’ll be like.

F. Netter: Paul, The Jacksonville area is gorgeous. We’ll be staying at the Hyatt Regency, which is right on the Riverfront. There’ll be a lot of neat places to see within walking distance. Best of all, the Jacksonville Jazz Festival will be just a few blocks away. Live music to sample throughout the weekend. The Marketplace is next door, with lots of great restaurants. There’s a water taxi that can easily take you to restaurants and parks across the river.

140430 (2) MinionP. Langerhans: Well, I’m glad that I found you as a roommate. I don’t know any other HAPS members, so I was worried about finding a roommate. However, the HAPS website has a Roommate Finder forum as well as a Guide for First-timers. Man, that was really helpful in figuring out what to expect. I just read that the HAPS Foundation has organized a 5K Fun Run for Monday morning. We’ll be running along the Riverwalk and over the Main Street bridge. It’ll be an early morning – race starts at 7:00 a.m. – but that gives us time to make the Business meeting.

F. Netter: I’ve been reading the Sneak Peeks at the Update Seminar speakers. There’s a great diversity of topics, so I’m curious to see how they go. I’ve also signed up for one of the HAPS-I courses, so that’ll be another great way to meet HAPSters and explore the conference.

140430 (3) Minion

P. Langerhans: Which course did you sign up for? I was curious, but was too late. I need to learn more about those courses.

140430 (4) MinionF. Netter: All HAPS-I courses are graduate credit level courses and can be applied towards a Master’s or Ph.D. program. They’re run through Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You can find the list of courses on the website. New courses are announced on Facebook and Twitter. They even have financial aid available. They accept applications four times a year and the awarded scholarships may be used anytime up to 12 months after receipt, so you might as well apply now.

P. Langerhans: Good idea. I’ll check it out and apply. I’m curious to check out the Saturday reception. President-elect Tom Lehman has mentioned the Shirt Swap for that night. Bring a shirt from your institution and be prepared to swap it for someone else’s shirt. I guess he’s into tie-dye something fierce and will be bringing several tie-dyed shirts to swap. Sunday morning, we’ve got the First-timers breakfast with the Presidents Emeriti, where we get to learn about the “ins and outs” of HAPS and realize how much we can get out of a conference and the Society as a whole.

140430 (5) MinionF. Netter: You mentioned that you’re presenting a workshop. The workshops will be at Florida State College – South Campus. I’ve checked their website; it looks like an incredible campus. I can’t wait to see the labs. I’ve checked the workshop schedule and realize that I’m going to have a hard time choosing which to go to. There are so many cool ones!

P. Langerhans: I know. I was scared to present, but I’ve talked with other workshop presenters and they say it’s a great experience. The attendees are excited to learn and share. Several people said they came away with pages of new ideas to take home and try. That sounds amazing to me. I’ve even downloaded the HAPS 2014 Annual Conference app to keep track of the workshops and seminars that I want to attend. Say, are you taking the Thursday trip to St. Augustine?

140430 (6) MinionF. Netter: You bet. That place sounds incredible. The restaurants look amazing!  I was able to squeeze it into my travel itinerary, so I’m excited to see what the day trip is like. Man, I can’t wait for the conference and join the ranks of HAPS minions!

How about you?

140430 (7) Minion

 

16- HAPS Annual Conference

27 Apr

April is drawing to a close (whaaaat???) which means May is almost here and there are about 500 reasons why that is REALLY fantastic news.  First, it means that SUMMER IS NEAR (oh glory days)!  And second, it means that we’ll all be celebrating teaching and learning in Jacksonville in just a few short weeks.

Image

May 24-29

So sign up for the conference and meet us in Florida.  You still have 2 days to register for the conference at regular rates (late registration rates go into effect Thursday May 1). There is a conference app (thanks Wiley!) that includes the entire conference schedule as well as relevant maps and even exhibitor contact information.  The dynamic app updates instantly to keep you apprised of schedule changes and I noticed it even has a link to this blog on the front page!  (I better start thinking of some good posts to share from Jacksonville…) While I haven’t quite mastered the elusive art of Tweeting, I am hoping to become a Tweeter by the time I arrive in Florida so that even if you can’t make it to Jacksonville, you can follow our adventures using the hashtag #HAPS2014.

The HAPS Annual Conference is an amazing event and I think it is because HAPS is like a giant a family.  I was a first-timer last year in Vegas, though I’d been participating on the HAPS-listserv for about 2 years.  And it was such a kick to meet the people I’d been learning from on the listserv.

Make it happen—you won’t regret it a bit.

15- Flipping’s Fatal Flaw?

21 Apr
Nothing's perfect...

Nothing’s perfect…

I love the flip.  I love what I can during “lecture” when students have already been exposed to the content.  But as I conclude my Anatomy and Physiology courses this semester, I struggle with the simple fact that I REALLY want to re-record MOST of my video lectures.

This is really bad news, because I have exactly 582 videos (which make up about 70 lectures) posted on YouTube right now.  Maybe it is just the time of the semester, but I can’t even imagine how exactly I would rally the energy and enthusiasm to go about re-recording these lectures.

I just watched my physiology lecture on reproduction.  Let me just tell you a few things that I observed.  While talking about oogenesis, something fell off the wall in my office, initiating a sympathetic nervous response.  I kept recording.  Then there was a sound outside my office, so I grabbed my cell phone and made sure Security was on speed dial.  I kept recording.  While checking my phone to make sure Security was on speed dial, I noticed a text message from my mother.  I kept recording.  I think I said the word “FOCUS” about 23 times.  One of my YouTube viewers commented, “LOMG she’s annoying…it takes her so long to get to the point.”

But how in the world could I re-record these 70 lectures?  It has taken me 2 years to arrive at the place where I am finally re-using previously recorded content.  And rather than finding I suddenly have lots of time, I am working just as hard to build good clicker-based activities to do during what used to be lecture.  I actually feel like this might be a fatal flaw for the flipped method…at least my version of it.

I am planning to deeply contemplate this question, because I’ve invested very fully in the Wendy-style flip.  I can’t imagine delivering a  traditional lecture…but I also can’t quite visualize how I am going to re-record my 70 existing video lectures.  Because we all know, iterative improvements are an invaluable perk that comes with teaching experience.

Maybe I am just suffering from a case of “end-of-semester burnout.”  Any thoughts?

14- HAPS-I Courses

14 Apr
AES_Workshop WIKIsmall

It is always fun to see how OTHER people teach! This “Adventures in Engineering and Science” instructor looks interesting…

Professional development is a key component of maximizing your success as a teacher.  I feel lucky to be able to take advantage of many opportunities for professional development provided by HAPS, such as the Annual Conference and the email listserv, for example.  But HAPS offers other opportunities for professional development that perhaps you weren’t aware of.  For example, we all have access to graduate level courses through the HAPS Institute (aka HAPS-I).

There are three new HAPS-I courses beginning April 18.  The majority of each course takes place online, though all three courses have a face-to-face component that will happen at the Annual Conference in Jacksonville FL at the end of May.

  1. Current Topics in Anatomy and Physiology is being taught by Jason LaPres from Lone Star College in Houston TX.  The one unit course focuses on the specific research presented in the update seminars at the Annual Conference in FL.
  2. LaPres is also teaching a course called Teaching Respiratory Physiology I- Functional Anatomy and Ventilation. This two credit course requires participants to create lesson plans that facilitate the teaching of respiratory topics to undergrads.
  3. Dr. Bryan Schmeafsky, also from Lone Star College, will teach Physiology of Death and Senescence. This is another two credit course that explores the physiology of these two inevitable conditions.

Sign up to take one of these courses and maximize your learning at the annual conference.  What a great opportunity!

HAPS Leadership (#24): Curriculum & Instruction

9 Apr

140409 (1) handshake.jpgSeveral of the committees within the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society (HAPS) can become quite busy at times. Being chair of such a committee can be daunting. At times, we’ve addressed this issue by having two people serve as co-chairs. You’ve probably wondered what it means to be a “co-chair”, so I asked Terry Thompson and Hiranya Roychowdury what it’s been like to take over the reins of the Curriculum & Instruction (C&I) Committee.

Question: How does it feel to be part of the Steering Committee?

140409 (2) Terry ThompsonTerry: It has been an interesting transition. I’ve been part of the C&I committee for years, but it is interesting now to see the workings from the other side. I continue to be impressed with all our organization has to offer and the great people we get to work with. Peter (English) has also been a great help.

Hiranya: This is my first experience in a steering committee for this big an organization. I have been involved with HAPS since 2007, and, interestingly enough, the first person I got to meet and socialize with as a “First Timer” was Carol Veil. I had been interested in the process of Curriculum Development for quite a while, so I offered my services. She asked me to be a “Friend of the Committee” and I worked in that capacity for some time, offering occasional input. Whether it was my continued unfamiliarity with the so-called “inner circle” or my involvement more with the HAPS-EDucator, I had less time to contribute to the C&I modules. However, I was working as a liaison between the C&I and the Testing Committee (and as chair of two subcommittees under it), so I kept tab on what was going on with the Modules and was quite impressed with especially Terry’s “go-get-’em” style.

Question: What are the benefits of having co-chairs for your committee? Any challenges?

Terry: It is nice to have someone else to split up tasks and work off our strengths, and to bounce ideas off of each other. Everyone is so busy, it helps to work together and help each other. The biggest challenge comes not from being co-chairs, but from the transition to the HAPSConnect. Getting everyone comfortable working within the environment and using the google.docs has been a steep learning curve.

140409 (3) Hiranya RoychowduryHiranya: When Ron asked me if I would be interested in co-chairing with Terry, I jumped at the opportunity. It was quite an honor and I just couldn’t pass it up. So far, most of the heavy lifting has been done by Terry, so if you ask me that question, a resounding reply would be “Great! Especially if you had Terry Thompson to work with!”

Question: What is the status of the Committee?

Terry: The Learning Outcomes are now on a review cycle of 5 modules per year – at least that is our goal. We may find there aren’t any changes needed, but we wanted to set in place a review schedule so that they would be updated as needed to fit feedback and possible changes in teaching focus and strategies over time. We will also likely be adjusting them as needed to incorporate recommendations that come from the task groups, such as David’s survey results on lab outcomes and Carol’s work on using word banks. Also Wendy is reviewing current documents on recommendations related to online teaching and that may be updated as well as influence changes to learning outcomes eventually.

Hiranya: Implementing the features from HAPSConnect (Google) has been daunting, but Peter has been quite helpful in our efforts to train our committee members with these features. Terry and I have had to be flexible in assigning modules to committee members as we all learn how to navigate the new website (check it out!) and update our offerings. We’re working to update the list of web-links, so we could use some help with that project.

1525R-69047If there are any HAPSters out there interested in learning more about committee work, Learning Outcomes, and the secret handshake (originally created by Carol Veil and yoga-modified by Ron Gerrits), contact Terry and Hiranya and they’ll be happy to talk C&I with you.

13- Flippin’ Crazy?

7 Apr
This is my little rah-rah support team.  Pretty sure they don't feel neglected!

This is my little rah-rah support team. Pretty sure they don’t feel neglected!

I was in my office the other day when a colleague stopped by unexpectedly and began offering advice.  I always appreciate hearing different perspectives, but when he started telling me that I spend too much time flipping my classes and not enough time home with my kids, I had to struggle to maintain objectivity.  Perhaps his comments hit a nerve simply because I am (of course) engaged in the familiar, guilt-ridden battle between motherhood and career.  But I found it really interesting that he focused particularly on the FLIP.  So I spent some time thinking about the flip…and whether or not the time I’m investing in the pedagogy is WORTH IT.

While I do not in any way shape or form agree that I’m neglecting my family, I do agree that flipping my classes requires a ridiculous amount of time and I’m far from satisfied with the results. My list of complaints about my approach is lengthy.

  1. My video lectures are long and I tend to ramble.
  2. If I change the order in which I cover content, the video lectures end up filled with confusing references.
  3. Sometimes I say things that are incorrect…and these mistakes are on my PERMANENT record, unless I re-record the lectures!  Yikes.
  4. I’m a relatively new teacher and I always want to improve my stuff. Updating video lectures is really time consuming!
  5. Even with the amazing resources in the APS Life Science Teaching Resources Community, my class activities are sometimes too basic and become boring.
  6. My class activities are sometimes too complicated and become overwhelming.
  7. I never really feel like I have enough time to completely PREPARE for any week.
  8. I never EVER feel like I “nailed it.”  EVER.

So as my colleague criticized my priorities, I took a tired breath and wondered WHY I keep flipping.  But in spite of every single imperfection, I honestly cannot imagine going back to the traditional approach.  I get to assume my students have covered the content when they come into my class.  I feel good about holding them to a higher standard than I might otherwise.  And I love the opportunities to talk about the content in a curious and meaningful way, every single time I see them, because  I don’t have to “cover everything.”  I’ve already covered it!

The simple fact is that my students are more engaged now than they were before I started flipping.  Yes—it is far from perfect.  But I guess it is worth it to me.